WINTERIZING: updated Oct. 29, 2013 - Escape Trailer Owners Community
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Old 10-29-2013, 05:18 PM   #1
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WINTERIZING: updated Oct. 29, 2013

Winterizing Your Water System


WATER SYSTEM WINTERIZATION

When storing your recreational vehicle through periods of freezing weather, in an unheated environment, it will be necessary to winterize the water system. Damage to water system components will result if the proper winterization steps are not taken.
NOTE: Before using the compressed air method, you will need a special adapter known as a blowout plug. This plug allows compressed air to be delivered through the city water fill. This small, inexpensive adapter is available at most RV supply stores.

WINTERIZING WITH COMPRESSED AIR

Purchase 2 gallons of RV non-toxic antifreeze.
1.) Drain the fresh water tank and empty the waste water holding tanks.
2.) Turn the 2 water heater bypass valves to the ‘bypass’ position. (The valves are located near the water heater incoming lines at the rear of the water heater.)
3.) Drain the water heater by removing the anode (1-1/16” Socket Wrench) and opening taps. Flush out sediment build-up in water heater if necessary. Reinstall hot water tank plug with new Teflon tape.
4.) Open all faucets, including shower head sprayer, (if applicable), toilet flushing device and any other water lines that are closed.
5.) Turn on the water pump for at least 30 seconds to clear any water from the lines.
7.) Connect an air hose with an adapter (blow out plug) to the city water fill connection.
8.) Set the pressure to no greater than 30# (pounds) and blow out the water lines until no water can be seen coming out of the fixtures and lines.
9.) Pour antifreeze down sink and shower drains to fill p-traps.
NOTE: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO START THE WATER HEATER OR USE THE PLUMBING SYSTEM AFTER THE SYSTEM HAS BEEN WINTERIZED. DEWINTERIZE, FLUSH AND SANITIZE THE WATER SYSTEM PRIOR TO USE.


WINTERIZING WITH ANTIFREEZE ONLY

WARNING: NEVER USE AUTOMOTIVE ANITFREEZE IN YOUR FRESH WATER SYSTEM. AUTOMOTIVE ANITFREEZE IS TOXIC AND NOT FOR USE IN POTABLE (DRINKABLE) WATER SYSTEMS.
Purchase 4-6 gallons of RV approved, non-toxic antifreeze.
1.) Drain the fresh water tank and empty the waste water holding tanks.
2.) Turn water heater bypass valves to ‘bypass’ position.
3.) Drain the water heater by removing the anode (1-1/16” Socket Wrench) and opening taps. Flush out sediment build-up in water heater if necessary. Reinstall hot water tank plug with new Teflon tape.
4.) Fill the tank above minimum water pump operation level with the RV antifreeze. (Use of a long funnel may be helpful.)
5.) Turn the pump switch ‘ON’ and open the cold water side of all faucet fixtures. Leave the faucets open until the antifreeze, (generally pink in color), flows out of the faucets and shower heads. Repeat for the hot water side.
6.) Flush toilet until antifreeze is visible inside the bowl and pour one gallon of antifreeze down the toilet to winterize the black holding tank.
7.) Pour antifreeze down sink and shower drains to fill p-traps.

DEWINTERIZING YOUR RV

NOTE: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TURN ON THE WATER HEATER OR USE THE PLUMBING SYSTEM ONCE THE SYSTEM HAS BEEN WINTERIZED. DEWINTERIZE THE WATER SYSTEM, FLUSH AND SANITIZE PRIOR TO USE.
1.) Drain all holding tanks, (fresh water and sewage).
2.) Attach garden hose to fresh water fill and fill tank.
3.) Turn ‘ON’ pump switch and open cold water side of all faucet/shower fixtures. Leave open until the water runs clear, (no pink residue). Repeat for the hot water side.
4.) Flush toilet until clear water runs into bowl.
5.) Dump tanks again.
6.) Sanitize the water system.
7.) If a water filter has been installed, drain the lines, remove the assembly, clean and reinstall using a new filter.
8.) When ready to use the water heater, turn by-pass valve to open position to allow water to enter and fill the hot water heater tank.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:07 AM   #2
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Thanks! Do you have plans for the pneumatic adapter? I have a couple of more trips left before it gets too cold down here, but I want to use the compressed air method when I finally put her up for the winter.

Thanks.


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Old 10-30-2013, 11:18 AM   #3
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Google "Blowout plug" and you'll find where to get one near you.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:21 AM   #4
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actually that is the wrong picture, here is what you want
Amazon.com: Camco 36143 RV Blow Out Plug with Brass Quick Connect: Automotive
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:38 AM   #5
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What's the difference Jim? It was in Google Images for "Blowout plug".
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:01 PM   #6
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I went to a couple of local places and could not find what I was looking for (maybe demand at this time of year was too high), so I made my own. Worked quite well.
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:05 PM   #7
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This may be a stupid question, but:
if you are winterizing using the compressed air method, why do you need to
"2.) Turn the 2 water heater bypass valves to the ‘bypass’ position. (The valves are located near the water heater incoming lines at the rear of the water heater.)" ?
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Old 10-30-2013, 12:26 PM   #8
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Glenn,
Your picture is the male section of a quick disconnect set up. The threads are not the correct size to attach to your trailer's water intake. At least it appears so.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:54 PM   #9
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You say?
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Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 12.51.45 PM.png  
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:59 PM   #10
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OK, I stand corrected, from the first image it did not appear to have the bigger threads like in the other pictures. It should work the same, mea culpa
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:06 PM   #11
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Costs twice as much, but at least you can get your fingers on the nut.
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:07 PM   #12
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Re why to bypass the hot water heater, the position of the outlet line is such that water won't blow out of the heater. Some water could possibly be blown into the heater, but it wouldn't get out. Better to blow out the lines in bypass mode and drain the heater separately.
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viajante View Post
Re why to bypass the hot water heater, the position of the outlet line is such that water won't blow out of the heater. Some water could possibly be blown into the heater, but it wouldn't get out. Better to blow out the lines in bypass mode and drain the heater separately.
OK, thanks.
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:34 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone. I like the blue one as I like the finger hold. I will pick one up this week!

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Old 10-30-2013, 05:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
I went to a couple of local places and could not find what I was looking for (maybe demand at this time of year was too high), so I made my own. Worked quite well.
I like that Dave - gonna steal your idea and make one. I have the plastic one that I have to hold the tire valve filler on so it takes two of us to do the air flushing.
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:14 PM   #16
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
I like that Dave - gonna steal your idea and make one. I have the plastic one that I have to hold the tire valve filler on so it takes two of us to do the air flushing.
Yea, it started out looking like this one:

So I drilled the top out and installed a quick connect coupler that works with my compressor.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:08 PM   #18
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Ok, how about a blow by blow list on sanitizing the system come Spring?
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:23 PM   #19
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Not much to it, not that I do it.
Pour a half cup of non-scented bleach ( chlorine ) into the fresh water tank and fill with water. Turn on the pump and open taps.
Shut down the taps and go have lunch.
Drain the fresh water tank.
The chlorine that remains in the pipes is dilute and will dissipate over a short time, but you can run more fresh water / without the bleach, if you must.
In my case, the water from the city has chlorine in it so I wouldn't spend a lot of time flushing.
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:54 PM   #20
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thanks - pretty simple!
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